One of the things that friends of mine will probably find disturbing about my conversion – even though I’m converting Reform – is that many of the Hebrew scriptures can be seen as outdated, sexist, racist, etc. But in light of the shootings this weekend, an Orthodox friend of mine linked to this article on two verses of the male morning prayers and what they should mean today, and I think it’s worth a read.
The Gratitude You Don’t Want To Offer
And here’s the kicker quote:
These blessings are problematic on their face because they imply that there are classes of people somehow “less than” the assumed default, namely, the free male generally reciting them. In fact, though, these blessings do accurately represent life. If they disturb us, it is not because they are a vestige of an older, less moral world; it is because they are still true. They are a daily reminder of the privileged life that so many people enjoy, not because of what they have accomplished, but by the accident of birth. As we recite them, our job is to appreciate these very real societal fault lines, offer gratitude for winning the genetic lottery, and then feel the imperative for meaningful action to address the injustices they reflect.
I approve wholeheartedly of this man’s introspection on what these verses could mean.